Popular Information has published 213 newsletters in 2020. Today, instead of writing on a new topic, I want to hear from you.
We are ten months into a pandemic and 29 days away from a new president. What's on your mind? What are you hopeful about? What are you worried about? What topics would you like to see Popular Information cover in 2021?
You can leave your thoughts in the discussion thread linked below, starting now. I’ll be dropping by to participate in the discussion and answer your questions at 11:30 AM Eastern, for about an hour.
PROGRAMMING NOTE: Popular Information will be on hiatus until 2021. Next Wednesday, you'll receive a special year-in-review edition. Your regularly scheduled newsletter will return, bright and early, on Monday, January 4.
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Our American experience with the Trump administration has laid bare some serious flaws in our political and social structures.
My hope for 2021 is that responsible journalism such as Popular Information continues to fully, honestly, and clearly expose our national weaknesses, no matter how painful these self-evaluations may be, as well as to explore the options available to us to strengthen our efforts towards a more just and equitable nation and world.
And Thank You for your work in 2020 Judd, a job extremely well done.
I think it's easy to be upset about the past few years but I see trump as a symptom but not the cause of the issues facing our country. Your mission strikes at the heart of the issues we're facing ... having good information to work with. I wish there was more... not transparency.. but awareness about where we as a society have decided to invest our time and money. Background pieces on disparity of the spending of those resources I think would shock people. Military vs Diplomacy. Policing vs Social spending and policies. Dollars and effort spent on education. Somehow demonstrating to people at large that large corporate and mega rich tax breaks have never "trickled down" or really helped us in global way. It's like some crazy mass hysteria that's accepted as fact. I don't understand it.
Anyway thanks for an incredible year of content.. good on you taking your well earned rest.
Congrats on creating a quality news analysis source. I am concerned that the old guard Democrats may shout down the meaningful reforms required to not only move this country forward, but slam the door on a possible redux of the past four years in the future. Term limits has to be toward the top of the agenda - as does rebalancing power among the three branches and rebuilding a more balanced Supreme Court. The environment, social justice, gun control - these are essential issues that have been held up for forty years and can't wait any more.
I’d like to focus on how Trump and his accomplices will be prosecuted. Unless they are held accountable they will continue to undermine democracy in order to to regain power. Thanks for all your great work.
I want revenge. I want those men and women to pay for undermining the core of this country and turning Americans against one another. I want Trump exposed for the double agent that he is. I want Murdock's empire burned to the ground (metaphorically - Democrats speak in metaphors, look it up, Rs). I want all those cokehead and pillhead Trump family members cut off from their dealers. I want the media to find the strongest voices and go into the most rural places and deliver the truth. I want real education and real information to get to the people. I would like to see Facebook closed and real books opened. I want peace and stability in the world. I want the poor to be fed. I want climate change to be addressed realistically by all of the world. I want clean energy. I want gun sales to be regulated and semiautomatic weapons destroyed except as stockpiled by the armed forces for defense. I want monopolies stopped and split up.
Judd, your articles are stellar and to the point every time. You have covered the two corrupt senators in Georgia, the tactics they are using, and how they are seeking to subvert the will of the voters. In 2021, I do think more focus needs to be put on the Republican Party. I have said for the past 4 years that Trump's theatrics would be vacant rhetoric if it weren't for the undying support of the GOP. With GOP support, Trump and now his substantial following in the Republican Party will continue to destroy this country. I think more focus needs to be put on other GOP representatives so that we can see in full view, just how deep this rot is.
Judd, please consider looking into extremist infiltration of US police departments. The NYT has written about neo-nazi infiltration of German police. The Brennan Center and the Intercept have touched on this, but as far as I know, only a group of Kentucky high school students have actually found any evidence of Nazi propaganda used in police training. https://manualredeye.com/category/projects/criminal-justice-training/
When you learn to fly, one of the first things they teach you is that a successful landing is one you can walk away from.
This is my hope for 2021.
First and foremost, we need a progressive plan for climate change to be implemented on the fast track.
Equally important is that the Republicans and the Trump criminals be held accountable! These monsters brought Fascism to our front door. And spread lies that lead to dangerous situations.
In addition, privileging religion, a vestige of the Dark Ages, is INSANE. There is NO reason that religious institutions should be exempt from taxes, putting it on the backs of everyone else!
New safe guards in place to prevent a sheer lunatic like Trump from staying in office.
As a follow through of the above, impeach the last few forced SCOTUS assignments.
We cannot waste a win in the Senate.
Hopes...I can see the promise of change with the influx of women and better racial representation in Congress. It’s a start.
Getting enough people vaccinated to put this dangerous virus behind us.
I look forward to working with more activists to bring about change locally and nationally. There are amazing people of every age out there doing great things.
And I see a move away from loud polluting combustion engines a very good thing for our air quality.
This year has been devastating for the majority of the world and I do not have the words to describe the sorrows, anger and loss. One spot I turn to to get the facts is Popular Info either on Tweeter or through email I read everyday. Thank you for giving me that simple joy.
The historian in me would like to see more on why we as a nation cannot seem to think in the long run which leads to such waste in resources and capital. I’d also like to read that a investigation of the failures of the Trump Administration is launched along with correcting the weak links uncovered during this time of our system. Keep up the great work!
Thank you for your hard work and intellectual honesty. Please keep raising our awareness of corporate greed, political hypocrisy, and attempts to thwart the Rule of Law. Please keep helping the Country hold accountable those who leverage their social, political, or economic weight.
Michael Smerconish, the CNN/SiriusXM talking head (and he’s pretty levelheaded), was on Chris Cuomo’s show last night saying that he thinks that the real reason Bill Barr is stepping down is because Barr is concerned that Trump is going to do something so loony and illegal that he (Barr) doesn’t want to be anywhere near it, and Smerconish pointed to the fact that both Michael Flynn and Sydney Powell have been frequent guests in the White House of late.
Gotta be honest; this has me very worried too.........
Appreciate the reporting on issues. Feels like reading not just popular Information, but Important information for our current situation. Keep it up. My hope is that your and others like you will be able to continue reporting on the story behind the headlines. Headlines that often have nothing to do with the facts. Transparency and an informed public will be key to the next 4 years.
Thanks for your hard work, and especially your persistence in following through on the effects of your reportage. Follow-through is extremely lacking in mainstream journalism. My concern at this time is about the low quality of information and discussion about important issues, especially health issues, in many communities where local newspapers have been forced to close. This leaves much of our country dependent on Facebook and other online sources of information that are not obligated to offer an objective account of the facts, but only to publish what their customers pay for, however despicable. I like this newsletter very much but I’m not sure it’s a model for news delivery that’s going to address the larger challenge. I wish I knew how to return this country to a place where people of differing persuasions can talk to each other again. I think that requires a new kind of journalism, maybe a nonprofit model, but I don’t know what that looks like.
To restore our democracy, we need to restore the rule of law. To do so, we must enforce the laws which require punishment for the wrongdoing perpetrated throughout our government from the time of the escalator ride. That includes all of the scams from payoffs as part of the campaign and abuse of the inauguration non-profit to the grift campaign to the attempted delegitimization of the election process and everything in between. The harm cannot be healed by ignoring it and hoping it goes away. There must be consequences.
Keep doing what you’re doing, a unique and valuable service. Might consider adding contact details of the offenders so I can harass them with minimal effort.
I really appreciate your coverage of company donation to political candidate in contravention of their public story and ads.
I would love to have you investigate the ES and S voting machines that conservatives are pushing. They leave no trace from what I can tell and NY State is considering adopting these machines in early January. We need to have paper ballots as a record of our votes. See this link:
Thanks for all you do..
Keep it up with the stories on corporate responsibility. The labor bill story was great.
First of all, thank you for what you are doing! Amazing work.
I would love to see a special section dedicated to the prosecution of Trump administration officials, campaign officials, company employees, foundation officials, as well as the man himself. A tally would be useful; each section with "x tried, y found guilty."
I'm hopeful that the level of civic engagement we saw in 2020 doesn't wane. It took a crisis beyond our imaginations to get to participation barely on par with our European peers. I want us to build on that, not get complacent again.
I'm interested in how to stop misinformation and disinformation from spreading online. I like it when you report on who profits from spreading lies. I also like it when you report on academic research. It's a good counterbalance to what a lot of other publications do, which is just to write about it from a self-help perspective that boils down to 'just delete Facebook.' That kind of writing doesn't help solve systemic problem and I'm glad Popular Information doesn't ignore systemic issues.
I'm in awe of the volume and quality of news you publish each week. Would love to see a focus on how the new administration is tracking in regards to restoring institutions that were drained of talent and resources during the Trump presidency, particularly the CDC and EPA. Continued heat on social media companies and corporate donations will also be required as we move towards 2022 and 2024 elections. And lastly, maintaining focus on emerging demographic shifts that continue to surprise the public (for example, Latinos and other immigrant groups trending R while white suburban voters drift D)
Thank you for being the only journalists I see holding major corporations accountable for their hypocrisy and lies in support of a for-profit marketing model of feigning support of social justice while perpetuating injustice. I'm most concerned going forward about the parallel realities created by social media algorithms that feed users information based on their preferences without regard to truth. The AI that can smoothly guide the dissemination of "information", but cannot filter for truth seems most dangerous. Just look at those who are ready to engage in armed violence based on lies that they really believe - or is it me who is accepting lies for truth?
So hopeful for 2021 and, at the same time, not able to relax until January 21st. I’m also worried that, in this nation of needing instant satisfaction, we are putting SO much hope into PE Biden’s ability to fix EVERYTHING that Trump has destroyed (or attempted to destroy) in an unattainable timeframe. Of course, the Georgia election will help determine how steep that hill will be for him. Also hopeful that Trump will descend into irrelevancy to his supporters. It could happen, right😬
Popular Information, has become a must read. In the near term the vaccine distribution will provide many opportunities to uncover corrupt practices. Over a longer timeframe, the waste and corruption in military spending would prove to be very enlightening.
I have to come back to my theme - that reality and truth are victims in our society today. I am so sick and tired of being told many times every day: "Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter." Why to people make time to do this? How many hours of human time and energy are spent on social media? What a colossal waste of human energy. I also have PTSD - Post Trump Stress Disorder. He is also THE major contributor in the creation of his cult who so willingly make excessive contributions to the loss of truth. His followers say that they love him, which is scary as hell. Embracing a liar with both arms is an utter drag on our quest for reality. I "explored" social media a tiny bit and quickly escaped. Why should I bother to yell at people for spreading lies - it won't stop them, and it won't make me feel any better. Thus, my addiction to Popular Information. Reading you 4 days a week has managed to keep me a tiny bit hopeful about the future. I've weathered the pandemic so far because I've lived alone for a long time - but it has stopped me from meeting new people in my new location. Judd - thanks for contributing so forcefully to the exposure of truth that is concealed by corporate lust for money - and for giving me confirmation that I'm not the only one who is utterly disgusted by everything currently going on in this country.
I'm very proud to have been a small but monthly contributor to your work this year. As a former BBC journalist I have been saddened to see the weakness of the mainstream media's attempts to hold power to account. Popular Info has been a beacon in the dark, and I have been particularly impressed by your de facto position as the 'virtual Board of Facebook', given that its own Board seems to have no role at all. Keep it up in 2021 Judd!
“If we all reacted in the same way, we’d be predictable. And there’s always more than one way to view a situation. What’s true for the group is also true for the individual. It’s simple. Overspecialize, and you breed in weakness. It’s slow death.” Shoza, Ghost in the Shell, animated version. Hi Judd, thanks for making solid news. I don’t have any requests for material, just a word of caution that whatever you undertake just don’t get burnt out. We all need you sharp, fat and happy.
I am interested in how we as a country can stop the gerrymandering and abuse by political fatcats.
I appreciate the “small news” you publish, the behind the headlines issues that don’t get the attention needed, until you report on them - Thank You.
My default attitude in tough times, during or after, is to ask well crafted questions. What am I learning from all of this, what lessons am I in the processing of learning and how am I changing as a result? Am I selling myself short? How vulnerable am I to propaganda? What level of agency do I have over my life? Same questions tomorrow.
I am relatively new to your newsletter. It is wonderful to see folks picking up on the idea of the old I. F. Stone Weekly. The major news media has it's own agenda hardly associated with what I need to know as a citizen.
How do we go about deprogramming the millions of members of the Trump cult? Most of these are our fellow citizens in need. How do we help them return to the fact/data based world?
I’m not going to worry about things that haven’t happened yet. I’m no prognosticator. We have a new POTUS who actually has a pulse so that’s a very strong start right out of the gate.
Thank you for helping to guide us thru 2020!
Thank you for shining a light and keeping us informed.
After agreeing with many of these - maybe showcase a few Dem's with a spin. I really think we will looooose big in two years if voters don't realize Dem' and courage can co-exist...
If the past is repeated Biden will still have an interventionist foreign policy. Would love to see you track more of the military-industrial-government revolving door and watchdog against covert ops etc.
Very good journalism! Kept me informed, whereas the MSM just went for the both sides approach for too long regarding tRump and his minions!
I’m saving this so I can revisit it next year. Yes Judd, I shall be resubscribing. Keep it going Sir. It’s all good; depressing at times, but still good stuff 👏👏.
Most of us are in the bubble. We might have smelled some smoke or noticed an increase in temperatures but nothing like people in the Philippines in waist high water. The fires in Talent, OR came right up to my mother in laws curb. Climate crisis my #1. Finding a sustainable future. (Although EVERYTHIING is related) and the crazy man at the helm until Jan 21.
Trust you are very well.
Poor planning for roll-out of vaccine post-Trump, (and hiding the malfunction from incoming
Biden folks), real talk of Martial Law with real live lawyers and ex-general criminals, bludgeoning
future trust in our Elections, Judges, Rule of Law, conspiring with foreign adversaries (Putin, etc.), in so many destructive ways.....
Obviously we could all go on and on, but you get the drift.
I think Republican Reps and Senators need to be pressed by your Team on the above issues,
and so much more. Their silence is critical in enabling the sped-up destruction of our
Their collective silence very much helps perpetuate the horseshit that, in part, clouds the
'minds' of, what, 75 million Trump voters. Their enabling, gutless, destructive behavior
must be challenged face-to-face, and exposed, each week.
Waiting for the other shoe to drop. If all T does is give pardons right and left, we'll have gotten off easy.
Although the Trump-fueled furor will die down, the conduct of our elections and our voting and vote-counting processes will remain at the core of our politics and be a major determinant of national direction going forward. It is not covered enough during the intra-elections period where reform can actually take place.
Unfortunately, the momentum coming out of E2020 seems to be in the direction of additionally encumbering the franchise to combat the chimera of "voter fraud." The GOP knows it can't retain power without stripping the electorate down, and likely manipulating the votecounts of that stripped electorate. We call it STRIP/FLIP/FOOL for short and it is about as anti-democratic (and anti-Democratic) as you can get.
I am concerned that Trump's evidence-free caterwauling and litigating have queered the pitch for all constructive questioning of the vote counting process. Scrupulous forensic analyses should have a role in whatever debates over reform emerge from this tumult.
Enjoy your work. Can you explore what’s hidden in this “stimulus” bill? I saw some reports about $500,000,000 for Israel and allocation for border wall construction — all in the midst of a global pandemic. I am sure there are other hidden perks that have nothing to do with Covid-19. Politicians on both sides of the aisle are guilty of this. How does this provide relief to regular Americans?
I’m a embarrassed to admit it, the more I learn about the way our Congress and Senate work with arcane committees and power structure I would like to know a whole lot more about that and how we can fix that. It seems to be the ultimate fuck you to the country
My husband is a Bernyite. I have read Reason.com to try to get an understanding of libertarian views. From my fly-on-the-wall from both perspectives, almost all of what I hear is how so and so is doing it all wrong. What I would like to know is: There are some hard problems out there. How would each group actually solve the problems: Education, bad actors in the world toward vulmerable groups and toward us; infrastructure; regulation of air, water and securities etc. What exactly does each group think is the duty of the government to its people. Please. Get a representative of each group (or several) to actually define what they are FOR and how they would get there.
This newsletter is one of the reasons I haven't fully lost hope in the world. Thanks for holding the worst among us accountable. Very proud to be a subscriber!